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Text-only newsletter stories for Issue 9 Vl. 6


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Headline: Which down payment strategy is right for you?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.

The downside

The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.

The upside

The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.

The happy medium

Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.


Headline: Your puppy-welcoming shopping list

NBringing home a puppy means a guaranteed influx of excitement and cuteness in your home, but it also means you’ll need a lot of patience, commitment, and important supplies. If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, these items should be at the top of your shopping list.

 1. Leash: Your puppy needs exercise, but won’t have the discipline to keep from running off. Puppies are still developing strength, so look for a lightweight leash.

 2. Crate: Crate training is a common, effective method for house training your pup, plus a crate provides a safe, comfortable place for your puppy at night. 3. Safe toys: Much like babies, puppies are susceptible to choking hazards, including toys. Make sure any toys you purchase for your puppy are appropriate for its age.

 4. Food and water bowls: It may come as a surprise, but you should buy bowls that are chew-proof and designed for canines. Puppies often chew on their bowls and cheap, chewed-up plastic can harbor harmful bacteria.

 5. Bath supplies: Beyond the obvious items like shampoo, you can make bath time more enjoyable for you and your pet with a dog dryer, which is less messy and better for your pet than using towels or human hair dryers.


Headline: Short sale and foreclosure: How are they different?

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.

A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.

On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.

On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner.

After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short sales, because homes are often bought sight unseen, with no inspection or warranty.


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